Sunday, May 06, 2007

Shoe Review: North Face Prophecy.

Normally, I consider it foolhardy to start out with a new pair of shoes for a long run, but that is what I did yesterday. REI had a sale so I picked up a new pair on Friday. The retail price of this shoe is $85 and it is advertised as a "cross-trainer" rather than a trail runner, but much of the construction is similar. It is cut lower around the ankle than the regular trail runners which helps me minimize blisters in the ankle area. The price is that they give a little less twist support to my ankles and it makes it easier to collect rocks in the shoe, but I can live with these problems. This shoe also doesn't include Gortex, which saves gobs of money and results in a more breathable shoe (yeah!).

My standard shoes have been Asics for quite awhile due to their comfort, but the softness takes its toll when going over more than 20 miles of rocks. The North Face shoe doesn't have the internal comfort, but does have the harder sole which makes running over rocks relatively painless. The outbound trip from Sunol to Del Valle (19? miles with 4,500 feet of elevation gain) went relatively smoothly. The shoes were good for running regardless of the trail. The real test, however, was on the way back. The last steep grade at the Backpack Area went quite quickly as the rocks still didn't make much of an impression. I was able to run the last several miles of gravel road back to the car. The feet were painful after all of that, but at least the pain was more uniform and there wasn't anything locally severe that would take more than a day to heal. The biggest surprise was finishing up the entire run without a single blister. Another problem that I have periodically is bruised toes, but not this time. What more could I ask for in a trail running shoe?

So why should these shoes be called "Prophecy"? The only thing I can think of is that they would be excellent trail runners to get Jonah from the Mediterranean coast to Ninevah.


Bunc said...

Hi Looney - only a truly committed trail runnner could get excited by a pair of shoes!!
In Scotland I reckon you would be what we call a "Monroe Bagger". I would bet a months wages that Monroe baggers also get excited by shoes.
(Monroe baggers aim to climb/walk all hills in Scotland that are over 2000 metres - I think. From memory there are about 200 of them.)
Keep running and watch out for rattlers!

Looney said...

Thanks Bunc. I was talking with my wife awhile back about a trip to Scotland. Once the kids are off and if there is any money left over ... Don't know if I will get a chance to run there, but that is something I would really love to do.

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